Best soil blend for new highbush blueberry plants?
I've got a customer who wants me to turn his left side lawn into a planting bed about 41'x 6' right against his house. He will get about at least 8 hours of sun there from what I can tell.
The only thing to be planted there are 4-6 blueberries. The soil in our area is mostly clay, and there may be roots in one part of this area near the back of the bed.
So, I will not be roto tilling the entire area because it will just re-compact the next time it rains, and I wont be removing all the soil in the whole bed and replacing it with new soil. I will be spraying the area with Roundup 8-10 days before beginning, then I will mow the dead grass to 1" high, then rake the area out, then I will dig wide holes where the plants are to be placed, then remove the clay soil and replace it with bagged soil, since I wont need enough to justify a bulk soil delivery. Then the blueberries will be planted and the new bed mulched.
Last week, I used bagged soils at 2 clients' homes to put in plants. The first soil I bought came from Home Depot, and it was Vigoro organic garden soil. It was great stuff. It had dome coarseness to it and it didnt compact at all, but it was mostly organic soil.
The 2nd soil I bought was from Lowes. It was their competing brand called Sta-Green tree and shrub planting soil. The Miracle Grow tree/shrub soil is pretty good, but they didnt have it, so I assumed this would be good. It wasnt..... It was about 10 fine organic soil, 10% sand, 80% ground wood chips! It looked like last year's partially decomposed mulch. It was by far mostly wood chips. Sop I had to mix it with some topsoil I had previously used to raise a low spot at that customer's property, then I replaced the borrowed topsoil with clay I'd dug up while putting in new plants.
So, avoid the Sta-Green tree/shrub soil at Lowes!
Anyway, I'd like to use the Vigoro Garden soil to plant the blueberries, but i dont know the ph. Plus, I believe it's ideally supposed to be blended with native soil, but our native soil is terrible, so I dont use for blends.
Should I use 100% Vigoro garden soil or mix it with bagged topsoil(if I can find decent bagged topsoil), or something else to plant these 4-6 new blueberries? I want to ensure a good start for them and good ph.
I planted 7 at my own home in 2004, but they didnt grow much, then later 2 died. They were pretty healthy from year to year, produced many berries, but didnt grow much, even though 4 were in the ground and 3 potted in 16"- 18" pots. We do get hot weather and a drought every year pretty much, so you have to water, and the last year there was a watering restriction.